Looking Toward the Center of the Galaxy


This animation looks toward the center of the Milky Way in three bands of light not visible to the naked eye. The near-infrared image (Hubble) shows the knots of cloud edges and emission that mark the plane of our galaxy. The mid-infrared image (Spitzer) highlights the clouds of gas and dust and star forming regions. The X-ray image (Chandra) tracks the most luminous and powerful stars in the area conspicuously revealing the galactic center region itself, including the million-solar mass black hole at the center. Several other X-ray sources associated with massive star clusters are also visible.

Video Credit: NASA / ESA / STScI

HH 666


Herbig Haro 666 is a young star that is shooting out narrow jets of material in opposite directions. The jets are a byproduct of material from a surrounding cloud of dust and gas falling onto to the star which is heated and then escaping along the star’s spin axis at over 300,000 km/h. HH 666 is deep within the obscuring cloud of when viewed in visible light. In an infrared view the cloud mostly disappears, revealing the stars within and the jets extending for more than a light-year.

Video Credit: NASA / ESA / STScI